UUA Women's Issues Alert
Happy International Women’s Day to you! I hope that you make time today to celebrate the achievements and power of women. Unfortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives would do well to hear these voices more clearly – write today to help protect the reproductive rights of women from their most recent attack.
In the onslaught of paternalistic and dangerous anti-choice legislation being proposed here in Washington this year, some bills are downright offensive. Take, for example, the so-called “Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act”, or PreNDA, currently being debated by the U.S. House of Representatives. Introduced and supported by legislators with terrible civil rights records and impeccable anti-choice records, PreNDA would criminalize doctors and other medical professionals who provide abortions to women who seek care based on the race or sex of the fetus. Insinuating that women are so sexist or racist against themselves that they need to be prevented from making these decisions, the bill dangerously erodes the trust between patients and their doctors and unfairly targets immigrant women and women of color.
The UUA is one of many faith-based and secular groups working to defeat PreNDA, including the National Council of Jewish Women, Catholics for Choice, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights (see their letter), the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, (read their testimony), and the NAACP. As the Leadership Conference writes, "We oppose this bill because it does not in any way address discrimination on the basis of sex or race. Rather, it is a veiled attempt to restrict health care for women of color under the guise of civil rights."
The U.S. House of Representatives has never had an opportunity to vote on an abortion bill about race- and sex-selection, though it is a type of proposal that is likely to be seen again soon at the state and federal level. Because this year will be full of attacks on reproductive justice, we need to make a strong stand against PreNDA now. Please write to your representative and let them know that this bill is against your sensibilities as an anti-racist, pro-choice person of faith. (You could also mention that the bill, if passed, would violate the statues of Roe v. Wade and is therefore unconstitutional.)
For more information about the bill, read the interfaith letter against it that the UUA helped to write, or contact Jessica (firstname.lastname@example.org) to talk about how to organize locally against this and other anti-choice legislation.
Your lobbying made a difference! The previous action alert you received from this list urged you to take action against the Blunt amendment, which failed (narrowly) in the U.S. Senate last week. The Blunt amendment would have allowed any employer or insurance plan, with or without religious affiliation, to refuse to cover any service based on undefined religious or moral objections. Thank you for speaking up! Read the UUA’s statement here.
Program Associate for Women's Issues
PS: Check out these prayers and other resources to help your congregation observe International Women’s Day and National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers.